Wednesday, July 27, 2011

When God Winks at You by Squire Rushnell

Earlier this year a good friend let me borrow the book When God Winks at You: How God speaks directly to you through the power of coincidence by Squire Rushnell. This is a non-fiction Christian book with a collection of different stories from people who have received "God-winks." The book is about 240 pages and makes for a quick read. Here is a description of the book from online:

Those extraordinary little events in your life happen for a reason.A coincidence-sometimes a silly little thing-changes the course of your day . . .or even your life. Is it chance, or is God communicating with you?

When God Winks at You is packed with true stories demonstrating that God does communicate with us, making incredible things happen in our lives every single day. As you read the riveting accounts of everyday and famous people-including Tim Conway, Rudolph Giuliani, Billy Graham, and Don Knotts-you will begin to recognize the Godwinks in your own life, both past and present. Through these tangible signposts from God, we receive personalized messages that reassure us, stop us from worrying, chart our path in life, and help us keep the faith.

When God winks, He is reaffirming that there is absolutely nothing about us that He does not know-our every hurt, our every desire.And that to me is very comforting. -Squire Rushnell (end quote)

I loved reading all these stories and it caused me to reflect on some Godwinks of my own that I might have had without recognizing it at the time. I know I have heard others stories before but didn't really have a name to put on it. I am undecided yet as to whether or not this will be a book club selection but I do recommend it. I love being reminded how much God is here for us in all things, big and small. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mistaken Identity

I'm trying to play catch up on books I have been reading outside of the book club. A little while back I read the book Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope by Don & Susie Van Ryn and Newell, Colleen & Whitney Cerak. This is a Christian non-fiction real life story about two families and their worlds colliding. Here is a brief bit about the book from online:

Five lives were lost in a tragic accident involving a Taylor University van, and one young woman, severely injured and comatose, was rushed to the hospital. Families, faculty, students, and communities grieved their losses and joined in prayer and hope as the one young woman, Laura Van Ryn, fought for her life in a hospital bed. The national news spread the story, and people everywhere shared the grief and the hope. Five weeks passed for the Cerak family. Believing they had buried their daughter, the Ceraks clung to their faith and worshipped God through their tears, learning to look forward with hope to an eternal reunion with their lovely daughter Whitney. They spent weeks in mourning and grief, slowly moving toward healing. Five weeks passed for the Van Ryns. Keeping a constant bedside vigil over their precious daughter Laura, they sat and prayed and hoped. They rejoiced at each tiny advance toward recovery. They celebrated each sign of Laura's healing. And then the shock! "Okay, Laura, I would like you to write your name for me," the occupational therapist said. W-H-I-T-N-E-Y. An event that could be seen as pure tragedy becomes a celebration of life's unfathomable gifts and mysteries. (end quote)

This book is about 288 page long and goes back and forth with the story from the point of view of the two families. The book also includes pictures and a message from Whitney. It is truly amazing how these families handled this bizarre mix up and truly only their faith in God could have pulled them through it all. I felt that the book was a bit difficult and awkward to get through at times even though the story was quite miraculous. I haven't felt like it will be a book club selection but do urge you to read and take note from the extraordinary faith of these two families. I believe anyone who may also be grieving the loss of a loved one may find help in healing in reading how these two families handled their confusion and grief.

Happy reading!

Monday, July 25, 2011

August Book Club Selection

Our August selection will be What difference do it Make? by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent. This is a Christian non-fiction book and has about 224 pages. Here is a description from online:

The more than four hundred thousand readers stirred by the story of Ron Hall and Denver Moore will resonate with the all new, stand-alone true stories of hope and healing offered in this intimate, authentic follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Same Kind of Different as Me. With new "Denverisms" and reflections from Denver on his personal dealings with homelessness and disrespect from others, additional insights from Ron on what we can learn from people unlike us and from those dealing with a terminal illness, and the stories of readers who have been impacted by the book's central themes, this inspirational reader will generate a host of new fans.(End quote)

If you will remember we read Same Kind of Different as me, back in March 2009. The first book was a huge hit with our group and I feel that this follow up will be as well. I especially felt like it was a good follow up book to read after our discussion on Under the Overpass back in June. It truly is amazing the difference one person can make in the life of someone else. I can't wait for you to read it and gain even more "Denverisms."

Our August meeting will be Saturday August 27 at 8:30am-10:00am in Swift's new building. Thanks so much for your participation!!!

Remember I LOVE book suggestions and am here if you have any questions or need some other book ideas to read when you finish the monthly book. You can also check out the blog and see what other books I read and review as I try to find books for the club and for my own enjoyment.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Amazed Clay by Wendy McMillan

I recently finished up a book that I had on loan from a friend for a long time. It was a bit of a difficult read depending on where you are in life at the moment so I kinda had to read it in pieces. Some days I was able to get through it faster than others. The book is Amazed Clay by Wendy McMillan. It is a Christian Non-fiction and tells about her journey in faith. I really enjoyed all the similarities between the potter and the clay. Because of her being a potter herself she is really able to go into details that you wouldn't get from verses in the bible that mention how He molds us. It was very interesting. The book is 139 pages and the author is a local of Baldwin County. Here is a description of the book from online:

Is life so busy that it's flying by and you wonder if you're missing something? Do you wonder what life is really all about? Maybe you just need a little relief from a crazy schedule. Wendy McMillan reveals how she too has lived amongst the screaming distractions of a very busy life and was horrified to find she nearly missed it.

Find real peace, security, understanding, love that never fails, joy, protection, and hope in Amazed Clay. Through the pages of this book, Wendy reveals how she found the treasure of life and offers you her 'treasure map' to the same amazing adventure. Should you accept to go on this journey, your life will never be the same after reading Amazed Clay.

Learn how to have peace of mind when anxiety and worry scream for attention, find joy though the troubling circumstances may not change, and finally understand the purpose of your specific life.

Wendy Langley McMillan is a weekend potter and currently resides in Robertsdale, Alabama, with her husband. She loves to help others be molded by the Master into thriving vessels. (end quote)

I have a few favorite passages that I want to quote and share with you. On page 86, the author is talking about how many of us live in a virtual reality, “We try to fit Him into our lives (schedules) instead of living ours for Him.” Wow. is that not true or what? So often times we go to church and do what we think is right as the author talks about but we only “fit” God time in. On page 88 she says, "He's (the enemy) dropping bread crumbs of busy schedules, service at church, nice homes, good deeds for others, and whatever else he can think of to possibly convince you all is okay while he lures you into dangerous territory." These are not always bad things but when we are too busy "doing things" and miss out on truly getting to know our Father and the role he has for the Holy Spirit in our lives we are missing out. I pray that I can get better at this myself and live my life more for Him than for my schedule.

The author continues on page 99-100 talking about this virtual reality we have made for ourselves and our relationship with God. She talks about a lesson she learned from another Bible Study and it was called, “The Captivity of Activity.” She said the lesson had two main points that were significant for her and I marked this as well. Point 1:“If the enemy cannot tempt us with destruction, he will settle for distraction.” Point 2: “Every day I’ve got a new choice, a choice to get up and in prayer give my anxiety-driven cares (distractions) completely over into his tender care then, trust that my God always protects and fights for what is always best for me.” She says again, “If the devil can’t tempt us with outright destruction, he’ll settle for distraction. The end result is the same.” Whoa. That really spoke to me. I think about all the times I do get distracted and loose sight of God and his plan for me in the sometimes messy day to day activities. I pray that I can become more aware of the tricks and traps that the enemy uses without me even noticing. I pray the same prayer for those of you reading this.

This will not make it on our book club selections but I would recommend the read if after you read the author’s description you feel a tug on your heart to read it. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July Selection

A real quick June update, We had 4 people at our June meeting with great fellowship and conversation. Thank you to those who were able to attend and I hope that if you didn't make it, you get to join us another time! :)

Our July selection will be Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. This is a Christian non-fiction book and has about 227 pages. Here is a description from online:

"Lewis seeks in Mere Christianity to help us see religion with fresh eyes, as a radical faith whose adherents might be likened to an underground group gathering in a war zone, a place where evil seems to have the upper hand, to hear messages of hope from the other side" (from the foreword). One of the most popular and beloved introductions to Christian faith ever written, Mere Christianity has sold millions of copies worldwide and its popularity continues to grow. The book brings together Lewis's legendary broadcast talks of the war years, talks in which he set out simply to "explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times. (end quote)

This is a book that has been on my reading list forever (with most all C.S. Lewis books) and I take one off here and there. Finally one day I got it from the library to listen to on CD and have to say I really learned a lot and gained a broader perspective on Christianity and am even more thankful that I believe. This book is filled with so many bits of wisdom and wonderful quotes that I can't wait to get my hard copy and a good highlighter.

BUT I have a confession. I didn't want to pick this book for book club. I loved it but knew at times it can be difficult to keep moving forward and just didn't know if you would enjoy it. I told God over the past couple of weeks with time ticking by towards July, that we needed to come up with something different and He kept bringing me back to this one. But I came around to see things his way (which is often how it happens isn't it?) and finally decided yesterday that this is the pick for July. (I even had the e-mail ready to go on a totally different book) I told God that I was going to do what he was telling me and that some in the club may not like the book but that it was OK and that I knew He had someone in mind that needed to read it. So here it is, a bit heavy at times and a push to get thru at points but I think you will be happy that you did read this classic. And I also understand if you skip this month too. :)

Kathy will let you know about a book order if needed for anyone. The library also has copies and there are several different covers available because of the age of this book so don't be surprised if it doesn't look like the one I attached to the e-mail. Our July meeting will be Saturday July 30 at 8:30am-10:00am in Swift's new building. Thanks so much for your participation!!!

Remember I LOVE book suggestions and am here if you have any questions or need some other book ideas to read when you finish the monthly book. You can also check out the blog and see what other books I read and review as I try to find books for the club and for my own enjoyment. Happy Reading!